England manager Gareth Southgate has just named his 25-man squad for the upcoming pair of European Nations League fixtures versus Croatia and Spain. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek unsurprisingly missed out after a stark lack of minutes following the previous international break, Ross Barkley has been brought back into the fold, instead. Also, in an undeniably pleasant turn of events, young prospect Mason Mount, currently on loan at Derby County, has also been called up.
The inclusion of Barkley is no doubt great news for the 25-year-old, who’s had a terrible time with injuries in the recent past and has had to wait patiently for his chance at Chelsea. Going by his recent interviews on the subject of returning to the national team set-up, he’s seemed rather confident of his chances, and rightly so.
Mason Mount’s name in the final squad list may come as a surprise to some, given he currently plies his trade in the Championship, but it’s arguably more indicative of Gareth Southgate’s long-term thinking regarding the national team and, of course, Mount’s vast talent and potential. The young midfielder has impressed under Frank Lampard’s stewardship at Derby County this season and perhaps the fact that Southgate was at Pride Park, watching Mount line up against Blackburn Rovers on the same night Liverpool took on PSG in the Champions League, is indicative of how highly he is rated. In addition to Mount, James Maddison and Jadon Sancho have stepped up to the senior squad for the first time as well, which goes to show the mentality behind the scenes at St. George’s Park.
GOALKEEPERS: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jordan Pickford (Everton)
DEFENDERS: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
MIDFIELDERS: Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Derby County, on loan from Chelsea), Harry Winks (Tottenham)
FORWARDS: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)